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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Partying hard or hardly partying?

I dunno, you tell me.
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Friday afternoon around 12pm, I was sitting at my desk dreaming about how I was gonna go home in three hours, crash until sundown and go off to a party that was being thrown by some of Sarah's neighbors. I was looking forward to this because when they invited me to the party, I was told that it was going to be, "a little bit enormous".

Then I got a phone call from my boss, who informed me that there was a hotel room reserved under my name in Braunschweig, so if I wanted to go to the Battle of the Year, then I could stay overnight and not worry about making arrangements to get back to Hamburg the same night/morning. They'd give me the money for the train ticket and I'd catch a ride back to Hamburg with someone on Sunday. Travel and accomodation were probably the main things holding me back from going in the first place. Well, that and me wanting to be a supportive roommate. Anyway, he told me to think about it and call him back, which I did after about 30 mins. I agreed to go, because I figured Seven would understand...there are just somethings you have to see.

Before I got off the phone with my boss, he was like, "It'd probably be best if you could get here by noon." Noon, ok. Gotcha, chief.

(Click below for more)

Doing the calculations in my head (mistake #1), I figured that I'd have to leave Hamburg at the latest by 9am, in order to get to Braunschweig by noon. I felt kinda ambitious and told myself that I'd get myself on a train around 8am and arrive around 11am.

Now, I think I kind of have to explain. I'm currently trying to expand my base of friends in Hamburg. I don't mean to say I want to get rid of the ones I have presently, but since most of my friends here run in the whole ex-RLH set (which is cool), if a few people back out of a gathering, then it turns into another Friday night of "Raven and Andre sit on the couch and listen to records". Which is also cool, but I need more entertainment! Hence, the need for the "benchwarmer" team of friends. So for the past month, I've just been going out and meeting all of these random people on the weekends, including Sarah's aforementioned neighbors, who I met back at her birthday party. It's hard work, but I think it'll all be worth it in the end.

Anyway, I knew that I had to get up early on Saturday, so I imposed a curfew of 2am on myself. For about two whole minutes, I considered not going to the party at all. But around 10pm, I hopped on the CrazyTrain (S1) -- where I sat across from a guy who kept wiggling his eyebrows up and down at me -- and made my way to Sarah's.

The party was, in fact, quite bitchin'. It was for five guys, living in an apartment roughly the size of Texas. Each of them had their own (huge) room, there were two bathrooms and a gianormous kitchen, with a foosball table in it. And a shitload of people showed up, including, but not limited to, the bass player from Wir sind Helden. I know, I know...contain yourself.

There was this chick at the party who possibly literally shit herself upon finding out this tidbit. The best part was that I was chatting with her friend, who is this total goth chick, when the Helden-fan runs up to us and squeals: "The bass player from Wir sind Helden is here!!!!" and the goth chick just looked at her blankly and said, "Who?!" -- totally deflating the other girl's sense of self-worth. It was priceless, really. At any rate, it's possible that I may have run into the guy at some point, but who knows...'cause 1.) I don't even know what he looks like and 2.) anyone who isn't Mulatto looks alike to me.

The party didn't even really start poppin until about 2am, so...I threw my self-imposed curfew out the window. I met some sprayers and a crazy polish-german guy, who (of course) is named Christoph and teetered back home around 5am. Sarah wins the Champ of the Night award, 'cause she partied it up despite having had a root canal earlier in the day.

I came home, proceeded to pass out, and woke up around 9am feeling not so fresh at all. Still, I managed to change, shower and hustle out the door by 9:30am. So, now I'm thinking, "Ok, I'm a little late, but I can still make it to Braunschweig by 1pm, which isn't too bad." I got me a Niedersachsen Ticket and hopped in the train around 10am.

The beautiful part of this route was that I was only supposed to change trains once, giving me some time to catch a few more zzz's in the train. I managed to change trains once, unfortunately into the wrong train, managed to not notice this fact for a good 30 minutes, and ended up somewhere in Bumblefuckenbüttel, Lower Saxony.

So, I get out of the train, and then proceed to find out exactly where the fuck I was...and how the fuck I was gonna get away from there. It was not all that difficult, however, the new route had me changing trains three times and put me in Braunschweig at around 3pm. Much, much later than intended. But, really, there wasn't an alternative now, was there?

I suck it up and get on the next train. And since the Deutsche Bahn doesn't like me, there were of course delays for each and every one of my connecting trains. Ultimately, I ended up arriving in Braunschweig at 4pm, six hours after leaving Hamburg. But I arrived nonetheless and my boss wasn't even mad at all.

The International Battle of the Year, or BOTY as the cool kids say, was pretty sweet. I worked at the merchandise table, but had the chance to watch the breakdancers from the backstage area -- the best seats in the house.

Breakdancing is just really fascinating. It seems like people active in this scene (and graffiti) are much more connected with each other on an international level, probably because their method of interaction isn't reliant on verbal communication (unlike MCing).

I wish I had brought my camera, cause I saw some pretty awesome this one kid, who couldn't have been more than five years old, wearing a t-shirt that said "POTHEAD" on it.

The Chump of the Night was this guy who didn't understand why we didn't have any graffiti videos or magazines for sale. And I was like, "Dude, cause this is breakdance contest? And this is breakdancing merchandise." He looked at me like I was from the moon. This is what happens to kids whose parents let them wear "POTHEAD" t-shirts when they're five.

This year, the French crew Vagabonds won, de-throning last year's winners from Korea, Last For One (who came in 2nd). I missed the performance by the U.S. crew, Knucklehead Zoo. *tear*

The event ended around 12:30am and it took us until about 2am to break down the stand. BOTY has been taking place in Braunschweig since 2001 and the city just shuts down (or opens up?) for it. In addition to the offical after-show party, the entire central train station turns into a club for the night. It's bananas.

I didn't participate in those festivities, however. Instead, the bulk of the FHHM team went back to the hotel and partied it up in the lobby. The hotel bar even stayed open for us pretty much all night.

Highly entertaining stuff. Apparently one of the BOTY traditions involve elevator pranks, in which various objects and people go up and down in the elevators with the intent to amuse the people in the lobby. So, imagine around 15 adults waiting with bated breath for the elevator doors to open to see what's in there next. Then, imagine being a normal person coming down to the lobby in the elevator, the doors open and you're greeted by a round of disappointed "Awwww's".

I won't try to describe the scenes, I'll just try to get my hands on a copy of some of the pictures.

I managed to stay awake until 7am, so that I could chow down on some free hotel breakfast buffet. It paid off, cause I was greeted with bacon...folks must have thought I was out of my mind, because I went off on that bacon. Shit, who knows when I'll have the next opportunity to have it?!

Sadly, one of the reasons I was so psyched about going -- the whole free single hotel room thing -- ended up going mostly unused. I got about 3 hours of sleep and had to get up to check out by 12pm. However, it's a very minor detail in an otherwise fucking rad-ass time.

Dude, they had bacon.

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